Just Add Tequila For The Perfect Fiesta
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Liquor / Chloe Jeong
To make , all you need are a few simple ingredients: high-quality tequila, fresh lime juice, and a citrus sweetener like triple sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or even just a little agave syrup. Combine, shake and pour, its as easy as that. But, when you dont have the right ingredients or the time to whip up a drink, a good Margarita mixer can be incredibly helpful. There is a wide variety to choose from. Each has a distinctive flavor profile, from sour to spicy to fruity, offering something for every palate.
Here are the best Margarita mixes that are both delicious and affordable.
Ways To Enjoy Tequila
We’ve all had tequila in a margarita before, so for National Tequila Day, let’s go beyond the Mexican classic and try tequila a different way.
10 Ways to Enjoy Tequila–Beyond the Basic Margarita
1. Tequila + Grapefruit Juice + Club Soda + A Squeeze of Lime
2. Tequila + Tonic Water
3. Tequila + Lemon + Simple Syrup + Club Soda
4. Tequila + Ginger Ale
5. Tequila + Orange Juice + Grenadine
6. Tequila + Pureed Watermelon + Triple Sec
7. Tequila + Campari + Sweet Vermouth
8. Tequila + Orange Juice + Pineapple Juice
9. Tequila + Muddled Mint & Limes + Simple Syrup + Club Soda
10. Tequila + Bloody Mary Mix
But if you decide, even after all of these awesome suggestions, you still must have a margarita, I suggest trying our Jalapeno Margaritaabove. It’s kick-ya-in-the-butt spicy, but oh so good. Cheers!
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Colleen Graham is a beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails and bartending. She has visited tequila distilleries in Mexico, tasted countless tequilas over the years, and wrote a book on the spirit.
Kate Dingwall, a sommelier and spirits writer, updated this roundup. She has been writing about wine and spirits for five years and has visited the Jalisco region over a dozen times. She has even harvested her own agave.
Recommended Reading: What To Mix With Pinnacle Whipped
Percent Blue Weber Agave
When shopping for tequila, look for these words on the bottle. It is easier than ever to find them because almost every tequila brand has realized that this is what drinkers really want.
Blue Weber is known as the most elegant expression of tequila. While tequila falls under the mezcal category, several distillers around the town of Tequila began distilling a superior form of mezcal. They used the whole heart of blue agave, which is indigenous to the region, describes Brian Olson, the founder and owner of Café Intermezzo.
Best Canned: Zing Zang All Natural
Courtesy of Amazon
Bring the party wherever you go with Zing Zang’s canned Margarita mix. It’s made from just a few ingredients, including agave nectar, cane sugar and a blend of three juicesfresh lime, key lime and grapefruitbringing a bit of Paloma character while retaining a familiar Margarita mix flavor. There is no fructose in this gluten-free mixer.
Don’t Miss: Is Member’s Mark Vodka Grey Goose
Best Aejo: Don Julio Aejo
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Baked yam, Ginger
Don Julio, Chasse notes, takes care of its raw materials. When the producers were planting their fields, they used much more land than other producers and spaced the agave out so as not to overtax the soil and sap it of its nutrients. Thats important when the plants take so long to come to maturity, and it leads to some lively flavors in the spirit.
Hurley notes the baked yam, toasted oak, caramel and vanilla notes that two and a half years of wood aging give this añejo. But its round, sweet qualities are balanced out, says Chasse, by a gingery, peppery spice.
Good to Know: Want to nibble while you sip? Try fatty things with a crisp blanco, like guacamole and chips, a grilled steak and carnitas tacos. For aged tequilas, Hurley advises dark chocolate. And any sipping tequila goes great with spicy or salty foods, chased by a Mexican lagerjust the way the distillers like to drink it themselves.
Best Overall: Tres Agaves Organic
Tres Agaves ticks all the right boxes for what you’re looking for in a Margarita mixer. Its not overly complicated, as it’s made with just four organic ingredients: agave nectar, lime juice, filtered water and vitamin C . Plus, the mixer is shelf-stable and has only 68 calories per serving. Give this mixer a try using some of the brand’s blanco, or any tequila you prefer.
Recommended Reading: How Many Carbs Does Flavored Vodka Have
Is Don Julio Better Than Patron
Don Juliobetter than PatronPatronDon JuliobetterPatron
These are the top 5 tequilas to be sipped.
- Fortaleza Blanco.
- Don Pilar Tequila AÃ±ejo.
- Don Julio 1942 AÃ±ejo.
- Tequila Fortaleza Blanco Still Strength â $60.
- Kah Tequila Reposado â $55.
- Tequila CÃ³digo 1530 Rosa â $60.
Tequila Is The Intellectual Property Of Mexico: True
In fact, its illegal for other countries besides Mexico to sell tequila. In 1974, the Mexican government declared the term tequila the intellectual property of Mexico. Mexican law requires tequila to be produced only in certain regions of the country. Tequila sold outside Mexico is technically a mezcal or a mixto.
Also Check: Who Makes The Best Rum
Tequila And Tonic: A Refreshing Bubbly Cocktail
We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Read our disclaimer.
If you love the Gin and Tonic, you should try the Tequila and Tonic. Its along the same lines, blending white tequila with some tonic water and fresh lime juice. Its refreshing, tart, and delicious.
This drink has a light, refreshing taste that will be appreciated by those who dont love the surplus of really sweet cocktails out there. It goes with any meal and any occasion.
And even though its got two and a half ounces of tequila, the tonic water balances it out and makes it a nice long drink.
Now, lets talk about lime. Traditionally, you would just squeeze one lime wedge into this drink, drop the spent lime into the drink, and serve it.
But I love lime, so I usually go for two to three wedges of juice. And it also depends on the size of your lime. So I say its to taste. Put in a tiny bit of a lime, or turn the drink into tequila limeade. The choice is yours.
Youll taste the tequila in this drink, so pick a bottle you like. I recommend Altos if you like a mild, smooth tequila, and Casa Noble reposado if you want one with a little more bite.
As for the tonic water, Schweppes is a good choice. Or if you want to make your own tonic instead of using store-bought? Check out this tonic making kit that lets you blend your own without any artificial stuff.
Best Extra Aejo: Gran Patrn Burdeos
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Cocoa powder, Dates, Caramel
Añejos and extra añejos should embody the flavor of the wood with the soul of the original spirit, says Hurley, so that the cooked agave flavor shines, complemented by notes of toasted oak, caramel, vanilla and cocoa powder.
This bottle from Patrón exemplifies the style. It is far too tasty, says Chasse. In part, thats due to the barrel program. A combination of used American and new French oak casks gives it a deep amber color that looks great in a snifter. Plus, a velvety mouthfeel and a drying and nearly tannic finale compels you to take another sip. But the pièce de résistance is the old Bordeaux barrels the spirit is finished in they lend a touch of the raisinated flavor youd expect from a wine.
It also does pair nicely with food, says Chasse, and if youre having a fancy day, with a fine cigar.
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Olives, Earth, Orange
If you want to know what tequila tasted like 100 years ago, Fortaleza is your go-to, says Hurley. At his estate in the town of Tequila, master distiller Guillermo Sauza makes the spirit the way his great-great-grandfather made it, using an old stone tahona and brick ovens. Bottled straight from the copper pot still without dilution, this blanco has an alluring earthy, olivey quality, says Chasse, with plenty of bright citrus, too.
Recommended Reading: Jim Beam Honey Mixers
Tequila Is Just For Shots: False
Tequila shots, with salt and a lime wedge, are part of our collective drinking unconscious. So much so, it feels like theres no other way to enjoy tequila.But expert bartenders say that you should allow the flavors of your tequila to open up, like a fine wine or scotch. Its much more common in Mexico to sip your tequila slowly the shot with lime and salt is primarily an American practice.
Tips For The Best Tequila Sunrise
Because this tequila cocktail is so straightforward, you want to use the best possible ingredients. Im not saying you have to squeeze the orange juice yourself , but see if you can get your hands on juice thats not from concentrate.
In that same vein, buy a quality tequila as well. Remember: this drink has just three ingredients, so you want them all to taste good!
Lastly, its crucial that you do NOT stir the tequila sunrise after youve added the grenadine to it. The grenadine is supposed to sink to the bottom, thus making it look like a sunrise.
Read Also: Best Glass For Gin And Tonic
Eleven Pro Tips And Fun Facts For Pro Tequila Mixers
1. Blue Agave Is Key
A spirit can only be classified as tequila if it is a minimum of 51 percent derived from the blue agave plant, with the remainder consisting of another kind of neutral spirit. Any of your quality brands of tequila typically use 100 percent blue agave in spirits, and any of these brands will flaunt it on their label. A mixto, a term we went over early, is a lower percentage of agave and generally cheaper.
2. Appearance can be deceiving agave isnt a cactus
Despite blue agaves appearance thats prickly and pokey in nature, it is technically not a cactus. It is actually part of the Agavoideae family, making it a succulent more closely related to a lily plant. Fun Fact agave means noble, admirable, and illustrious in Latin.
3. The Blue Agave harvest takes time, love, and care
The blue agave plants, known as agave tequilana weber to the scientific community, take a whopping eight to twelve years to grow to maturity for harvest and be up to seven feet tall. Thats comparable to the time, love, and care to raise a small child that goes into producing your favorite bottle of tequila.
4. Tequila comes from the heart of agave
5. Appellation of origin
6. In Mexico, they typically sip, not shoot tequila
In the United States, it is common practice to drink tequila as a shot with a salted rim and a lime wedge chaser, known in Mexico as tequila cruda. Whereas in Mexico, they typically choose to savor their tequila and sip it neat like a fine whiskey.
What Are The Different Types Of Tequila
“The difference between blanco, añejo, and reposado is the aging process, describes Dylan Alpaugh, the general manager of Sophia’s Lounge. Blanco tequilas are unaged and come out clear. Reposado tequilas are aged in white oak bottles for a period of two months to a year, imparting a slight yellowish-brown color. Añejo tequilas are aged in white oak barrels for a period of one to three years, imparting a rich brown color to the tequila.
Recommended Reading: Bacardi High-proof
What Can I Mix With Tequila
Maybe its easier to answer, what cant I mix with tequila? If youre into sipping tequila cocktails and looking for new ideas on what to mix with tequila, here is a comprehensive list of great mixers and tequila cocktail ideas to get you inspired:
Tequila + Grapefruit SodaAKA the Paloma, this is a popular choice of what to mix with tequila. If you like bright, citrusy, and slightly bitter, youll love this combo. Depending on your preference, you can use silver or reposado tequila for the base of the cocktail. A silver tequila keeps the drink light and crisp, while a reposado tequila makes it richer and more decadent. There are far too many variations of the Paloma to list, and you are sure to find a different house variation of this drink at any bar or restaurant where you might find yourself. The most popular version of the Paloma you make with fresh grapefruit juice, club soda, and silver tequila. Garnish and squeeze in a fat wedge of lime and a pinch of sea salt. This drink will help you survive the hot summer months!
Tequila + Pineapple juiceThey go together better than mac and cheese. Fresh pineapple juice is more ideal than canned, but either way, youll end up with a cocktail that is tropical, fruit-forward, and downright peppery. Best of all, literally any tequila be it silver, reposado, or añejo works as the base of this drink.
Garnish any of these with a wedge of lime that you can squeeze into the drink, and youre done!
Best Overall: Tequila Ocho Plata
Courtesy of Drizly.com
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Pepper, Citrus, Grass, Stone fruit
The beautiful story and unique process behind this tequila really help it shine, says Chasse. The family that makes Tequila Ocho Plata has been distilling for generations. They use traditional brick ovens to slow-roast extremely ripe agave, which is chosen from specific fields each year, so that the nuances of the terroir and weather come out, especially in the blanco.
It changes depending on the field and year, says Chasse, but in general, it offers crisp, clean peppery notes, bright citrus and grassy flavors, along with the fruitiness of the extra-ripe agave. The finish also offers a nice balance between floral and earthy notes.
Good to Know: How should you drink a sipping tequila? Hurley and Chasse suggest trying it neat in a tequila glass . Add a few drops of water to open up the flavor. Medina prefers to sip his aged tequila in a snifter with one large cube of ice, which melts slowly, keeping the spirit cool but not diluting it.
Recommended Reading: Gin Made With Juniper Berries Brands
Best Splurge: Don Ramn Limited Edition Extra Aejo
Courtesy of Liquorama.net
Region: Jalisco | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Cocoa, Dark coffee
Only 5,000 bottles of this limited-edition Don Ramón extra añejo were produced. Made with 100% blue agave from the Tequila Highlands, this expression has been aged for three years in American oak barrels. The tequila provides notes of toasted coconut and vanilla, with some cocoa powder and dark roasted coffee, Hurley notes. But thats only part of the selling point for him.
The tequila is great, but the bottle is whats really gorgeous, he says. The glass is embedded with gold flakes and decorated in wooshing lines composed of Swarovski crystals, which frame the dark amber liquid inside. It makes a showstopping centerpiece for any bar.
What Brand Of Tequila Is 100 Percent Agave
. Considering this, are all tequilas 100 percent agave?
Tequila is made from blue agave, but it does not have to be 100% agave. Many tequilas will advertise themselves as ‘100% Blue Agave,’ but the legal requirement is 51%. Distillers are allowed to fill out the rest with a neutral spirit made from cane sugar juice, creating what is known as a âmixtoâ tequila.
Subsequently, question is, what does 100 percent agave mean? This means it is made only from the blue agave plant, with only agave sugars used for fermentation, and was approved by a government inspector to ensure purity. 100% agave means no other sugar was used during fermentation to create the alcohol, so it has more body, more flavour, and a stronger agave aroma.
Subsequently, one may also ask, what is the purest tequila?
Blanco tequila is the purest type of tequila. Made with 100% agave, it is more pure than aged tequilas like reposados, or mixed tequilas that include other types of sugars, like mixtos.
Is Jose Cuervo made with 100 agave?
Cuervo’s Tradicional has been produced since 1795. Its varieties, Silver and Reposado, are 100% agave tequilas.
Recommended Reading: Tequila Gold Drinks
Tres Agaves Margarita Mix
You say tequila. We say margarita. This classic cocktail is normally made with tequila, triple sec and lime juice, but with the Tres Agaves Margarita Mix, all you need is the mixer and tequila . Tres Agaves is actually the only shelf stable, organic margarita mix on the market. Its made from lime juice, agave nectar and filtered water, and its only 68 calories per serving.
How Strong Is A Tequila Sunrise
Assuming that you pour an 80-proof tequila and end up with a 7-ounce drink, the alcohol content of either tequila sunrise will be around 11 percent ABV . You can pour as much tequila or as little juice and soda as you like to make stronger or weaker drinks, but it’s almost always a relatively mild cocktail.
Also Check: What Proof Is Bacardi Rum